There is no shortage of doom and gloom when it comes to technology. The robots might revolt; the singularity could render humans irrelevant; the self-driving cars will ferry us into the ocean, one by one. But for every theory of technology going bad in the future, there are a dozen real-life examples of technology being used for good in the present. An array of apps, online platforms and connected devices are helping people react to danger and keep risk to a minimum. These are our Safety Nets.
for every theory of technology going bad in the future, there are a dozen real-life examples of technology being used for good in the present.
The increase in Safety Nets has been spurred on by the expanded capabilities of mobile devices. The proliferation of available, to-the-minute information, the ease with which we can communicate with one another and the increase in smart objects and personal alerts—all at our fingertips—have all combined to make our lives more instantaneously safer.
Forward-thinking organizations and brands have jumped on the opportunity to create products that act as Safety Nets. The French Interior Ministry, ahead of this summer’s UEFA European Championship, the soccer tournament held in ten cities across France, released a smartphone app designed to notify the public in the event of a suspected terror attack. All app users in the affected locations(s) would receive an alert, which was smartly designed to be silent in order to keep users safe if they had been forced into hiding. The alert would include an overview of the incident as well as immediate safety instructions.
Another sporting event, another opportunity for a Safety Net. Waze, the traffic and navigation app, introduced a feature that would guide tourists away from the most dangerous areas of Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics. When nearing these areas, a red exclamation point would pop up on the smartphone screens of users. There are of course, applications for Safety Nets beyond sporting events. In Taiwan, a tech company created a “Pocket Chopstick Sanitizer,” a portable device that sterilizes chopsticks before use. And if you’re not sure what to do with your old smartphone, why not download the free Smokey app from CleverLoop, plug it in and let it become a remote smoke detector?
As we’ve written before, making your brand stand for something is a way to earn customer respect and loyalty. With smartphones, there are more ways than ever to do just that. So embrace technology, don’t be afraid of it. Use it to help others, and help yourself in the process.
Trends inspired by trendwatching.com/premium